A guide to writing good titles for books

Flowchart for Book Naming

If you’ve ever taken thirty seconds to look for a particular genre on a bookshelf, you might have noticed that many of the titles in the genre, for some reason, feel similar to each other. And not just those from the same writer.

Some titles, or rather, title naming formulas, are so common that probably everyone has read a book with such a title. The [Whoever’s] Daughter. [Whoever’s] Game. Confessions of [Whoever wants to confess]. Really, some of these titles are so clichéd and so prevalent that it’s, well, both hilarious and sad. Aren’t writers, of all people, supposed to write creatively? Then why can’t we name books creatively?

So, me being me, I decided that it would be great fun to see whether I could come up with titles for each genre.

Well, below, you see the results. I’ve created a flowchart for naming books. Simply put, if you’re looking for a good title (or a laugh), just take your book and answer the flowchart questions for it, and eventually, you’ll arrive at what I think should be the name for your book. (Or any other books in the genre.)

Flowchart for Book Naming

You can download the full PDF here.

On another note, there were several genres I didn’t think were big enough to include. I still think they’re not big enough to include. But since I like fantasy, I’ll just add my ultra-generic title for low fantasy books too: The Country Beneath the Floorboards.

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